San Francisco’s New D.A. Leans Into Prohibition, Will Roll Back Plea Agreements Offered by Her Predecessor
In June, San Francisco recalled District Attorney Chesa Boudin. A progressive prosecutor, Boudin promised reform but shouldered the blame for rising crime rates and a perceived lack of attentiveness to the job.
Last month, Mayor London Breed appointed Brooke Jenkins as Boudin’s replacement. Jenkins served as an assistant D.A. for seven years before resigning in 2021 over “mounting dissatisfaction with the direction of the office.” She later publicly advocated Boudin’s recall.
Today, Jenkins announced new policies: In a break with her predecessor, the San Francisco District Attorney’s office will attempt to address drug-related violence and overdose deaths by leaning more heavily into prohibition.
Jenkins criticized her predecessor’s policies and tactics, specifically that since 2020, there were almost no prosecutions of drug dealers despite 1,500 overdose deaths in San Francisco; she specifically singled out fentanyl, the powerful synthetic opioid that is increasingly driving overdose deaths nationally. “For the past year or more, the previous administration did not obtain a single fentanyl sales conviction,” Jenkins said, “despite what was happening on our streets.” She vowed that “We cannot stand by… We have to make changes now to save lives.”
While Jenkins has described herself as a supporter of pretrial diversion programs favored by progressive prosecutors, she also criticized the Community Justice Center (CJC), a program within the San Francisco Superior Court that utilizes social services like drug and mental health treatment to keep some offenders out of jail. “My new policy will prohibit drug dealers arrested with more than 5 grams of fentanyl o
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